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dungeons and dragons monster: troll

m. werneburg, 2015.01.17
Phase	I	II	III
No. Enc.	1 (1d3)	1	1
Alignment	Angry	Hungry	Survivor
Movement	35m (12m)	20m (10m)	10m (10m)
Armor class	6		3	0
Hit dice	6		12	18
Attacks	3 (claws, bite)	1	1
Damage	4+d4(2)/2d6	5d4 (wpn)	8+6d8 (wpn)
Save	F6	F12	F18
Morale	8	10	12
Hoard class	XIX	XX	XXIII
XP	800	3000	10,000

The trolls of Sppang are monsters that plague cool climates and underground locations and eat people. Or, that's the majority view. But stories sometimes emerge of someone trading with a troll or even enlisting its help. Other stories talk about elder trolls holding meetings in hidden mountain valleys and forest groves, discussing weighty things and maybe holding council with other monsters.

Little is known about the lifecycle of the troll. They all appear to be vaguely male adults, as no young trolls or females have ever been spotted. There seem to be three distinct life phases.

Trolls are thought to regenerate but the reality is they are simply fast healers. A troll that is not outright killed will regain one hitpoint every half hour. During the healing process a troll might form a new limb or even a new head.

Phase I troll

For decades or even a few hundred years, a troll is about three times the mass (and strength) of a human. These are the trolls that live under bridges, in ruins and caves, in labyrinths, and in cold places (see Yeti). They have the appearance of ugly old men with ashen skin and unpleasant features. They stand in a hunched way, and their shuffling gate reveals a meter-long tail like that of a cow.

They bitterly resent being disturbed and will attack parties that they deem weaker than themselves. If pressed, they will interact with more powerful groups. Adventurers can profit from this by hearing gossip, purchasing "discarded" weapons &equipment, or learning the local geography. Trolls barter dearly for such exchange, however, craving precious metals and gems (which they ingest—as they will the flesh of anyone they kill).

Phase II troll

The phase II troll is far larger, standing 3 – 8 meters tall and weighing several tonnes. Still humanoid in form, This form of troll sometimes has multiple heads, extra limbs, and other deformities. In the largest of phase II trolls, this can even include small trees and bushes growing from their back and head.

These trolls are ravenous eaters and while they spend most of their time below ground carving caves and tunnels and consuming stone, they will occasionally emerge to find meat—a rare treat they pursue with gusto. They will raid a human settlement to consume i) stores of food, ii) the livestock, and finally iii) the farmers. Unlike their younger brethren, they turn to stone almost instantly when exposed to sunlight. Some phase II trolls develop a permanent rocky exterior and are immune to the ill effects of sunlight.

Phase II trolls will only speak if in dire condition. They are not unintelligent, but their willingness to converse is no match for their desire to consume.

Phase III troll

In the phase III, a troll is a titanic monster, squatly solid in form and only roughly humanoid. They are massively built, range to 20m tall, and weigh enough to shake the land when they walk. Frequently appearing to be living stone, they may sport rock scarps or deep fissures.

Slow moving and paying little heed to the doings of humans, these trolls rarely appear and seem to do so only to destroy – smashing a castle built too far into the wilderness, ending a mining or forestry operation, or wiping out a gang of bandits. By no means evil, they garner respect from all creatures great and small, save perhaps the most bellicose of fire dragons. They seem to be able to converse with metal dragons and sphinxes and even xlid. Any 0-level humanoids seeing one of these great trolls must make their WIL score on d20 or panic, regardless of the numbers of their allies present.


rand()m quote

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

—Lao Tzu